- Delta variant found in 95.8% of 881 COVID-19 samples studies: USJ
- Total detections rise to 480,478, includes 374,389 from the New Year cluster
- 59,855 persons under medical or home-based care
- Drop in detections not satisfactory: Dr. Hemantha Herath
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rose to 480,478 with the detection of 2,842 COVID-19 positive persons yesterday.
Studies carried out by the Sri Jayewardenepura University (USJ) found that 95.8% of 881 COVID-19 samples had the Delta variant, with small percentages of the Alpha variant found in the Northern, Eastern, Central, Sabaragamuwa, and Southern Provinces.
All samples from Western Province had the Delta variant, as did the samples from the North Western and North Central Province.
No other variants were detected in the samples.
“A study carried out by USJ researchers including Prof. Neelika Malavige and Dr. Chandima Jeewandara from the Allergy, Immunology and Cell Biology Unit of the Department of Immunology Molecular and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura showed that Delta variant was responsible for 95.8% infections in Sri Lanka and Delta prevalence was between 84% to 100% in different provinces,” the USJ states.
The COVID-19 patients detected yesterday include 2,832 persons from the New Year cluster and 10 overseas arrivals. According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 12,531 PCR tests were carried out yesterday.
On Thursday, 12,528 PCR tests and 3,951 rapid antigen tests were carried out and 2,856 COVID-19 patients were detected. Of this, 2,823 were from the New Year cluster and 33 were from the Prisons cluster.
A total of 374,389 patients have been detected from the New Year cluster to date and 8,303 patients have been detected from the Prisons cluster. The local cases also include 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster and 3,059 persons from the Divulapitiya cluster.
The country’s imported cases include 6,858 Sri Lankans and 328 foreigners.
The COVID-19 detections include 104,691 persons from Colombo, 87,177 persons from Gampaha, 47,594 persons from Kalutara, 26,644 persons from Galle, and 22,952 persons from Kurunegala have tested positive for COVID-19.
Western Province detections during the third wave include 72,394 persons from Colombo, 68,643 persons from Gampaha, and 40,536 persons from Kalutara.
At present, 59,855 persons are under medical or home-based care while 3,443 persons suspected of having COVID-19 are under observation.
It was also stated yesterday that Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa had tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, 409,628 persons have recovered from COVID-19 to date, with 1,512 persons leaving hospitals yesterday.
A drop in COVID-19 detections has been apparent in the last few days, but health officials state this is not sufficient to reopen the country as it is not a reduction one can be satisfied with.
“A drop in detections is definitely a green light to reopen the country, but the question is if this number is significant to immediately reopen the country as the decision must be made considering other factors as well. So we cannot only look at this and make decisions,” Deputy Director-General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said.